Ann Arbor's ReUse Center keeping used items out of landfills

Ann Arbor's ReUse Center keeping used items out of landfills

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The ReUse Center in Ann Arbor sells everything from glasses to furniture and even kitchen sinks.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) The ReUse Center in Ann Arbor sells everything from glasses to furniture and even kitchen sinks. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WJBK) -

It's a thrift shop and then some.  The 20,000 square foot retail store doesn't sell clothes, but the ReUse Center on Industrial Highway in Ann Arbor sells just about everything else.

"It's things that people are donating that they don't have a use for anymore, but some of these items really still are in very good condition and someone else might have a use for them," said Recycling Coordinator Kendra Pyle.

From glasses and mugs to clocks, books, cooking utensils, furniture and even the kitchen sink, we also saw children's bikes, exercise equipment and backyard grills all at bargain prices.

"I like the concept of things being reused," said Nancy Hummel.  "I just don't like to see things go to waste."

Hummel is a frequent shopper and has also donated truckloads of merchandise to the ReUse Center.

Along with everything else they sell, they're known for their building supplies such as "Urbanwood," which can be made into beautiful furniture.

"If you're buying all this new stuff... there's an environmental cost to that, but if you're able to instead buy stuff that's used, not only is that stuff being prevented from going to a landfill, but you're also saving the environmental resources to go into new products," Pyle said.

The ReUse Center is run by Recycle Ann Arbor, a nonprofit group that started the first curbside recycling program in the state in 1977.  All of the money from sales goes back to the store and other programs.  They're open seven days a week.  Donations are accepted Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and they're tax deductible.

"I think a lot of people do come here and they get ideas about really neat things to make from the things that they see here," said Pyle.

The ReUse Center is encouraging people to think creatively.  They want people to take old items and turn them into works of art as part of their Reuse Competition for Earth Day.  The deadline is April 12.  For more information, visit www.recycleannarbor.org.

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